Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Select An Article

Understanding Breast Problems -- Diagnosis & Treatment

Font Size

How Are Breast Problems Diagnosed?

First, your doctor will examine your breasts. You may have mammogram or ultrasound done to look for tiny lumps or other things that can’t be found in an exam.

For breast lumps, treatment and diagnosis are often related. For example, your doctor may insert a needle into a cyst and draw out fluid, both to examine the fluid and to get rid of the cyst. If the fluid is clear and the cyst disappears, your doctor will probably diagnose it as a benign cyst, and no further treatment is needed. Many doctors take the added precaution of having the fluid checked in a lab test. If a lump does not disappear and is still present after your next menstrual period, your doctor will want to re-examine you.

Understanding Breast Problems

Find out more about breast problems:



Diagnosis and Treatment

If the fluid from a suspected cyst is bloody, or if little or no fluid can be drawn out, this is a cause for concern, and you may need a biopsy to check for cancer.

Fibroadenomas can be diagnosed only by biopsy. Surgical removal, usually in a same-day surgical procedure, is considered the only treatment if they are large or painful, but treatment is not always necessary.

Nipple adenomas are surgically removed because they are sometimes associated with breast cancer.

Intraductal papillomas are surgically removed before they grow large enough to block the milk ducts.

What Are the Treatments for Breast Problems?

Nutrition and Diet

A high fat diet and alcohol can both increase the risk of breast cancer. And even though there is no proof that diet can cause tumors, studies have shown a relationship. For instance, avoiding caffeine may help shrink breast cysts. And limiting fat to less than 20% of your total daily calories may help shrink or eliminate lumps.

To prevent and treat monthly breast swelling, your doctor may tell you to maintain a healthy weight and eat a balanced diet. Because salt can make the breasts swell, eat less salt near your period. Avoiding caffeine and related substances, such as methylxanthines (found in chocolate and tea), can ease breast pain.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
Is it menopause or something else?
woman in bathtub
bp app on smartwatch and phone
estrogen gene

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
hot water bottle on stomach
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror